I am still sipping tea on Tea Ave – oh my mistake, I mean sipping Ave Tea.

Ave Tea has sent me some delightful and appealing samples from India that I’m choosing to share with you all.

Their Smoked Exotica really piqued my curiosity, but my daughter made me promise not to sample it without her. She enjoys smoky teas. I’m sorry to say, they are just not my thing. I was thrilled to have someone with whom to share this experience.

Our sense of smell is linked to our memory — much more so than any of our other senses. I’m quite confident that many of you have encountered numerous people in your tea journey that absolutely detested some of your teas. You can’t take that personally. Those are often memories for many that brought back unpleasant things — while to our favor — other tastes and aromas trigger pleasurable memories.

A smoky or deliberately smoked tea takes me back to my childhood memory of the smell of diesel train engines running day and night. It was cold in the prairies of Saskatchewan, and the Canadian Pacific Railroad went through the section of Saskatoon where I grew up. It was the common practice to allow those engines in the train yard to idle endlessly during the cold weather snaps. The smell of diesel fuel at minus forty degrees leaves a stinging sensation in your nostrils that one never forgets. It’s definitely not a good memory for me.

Such is life. Can one overcome these memories? In many cases, yes; in other cases, those memories can stay with us for the duration of our lifetime. Do I care about overcoming my dislike of smoky smelling and tasting things? No, not really, there are so many other teas I absolutely love. Will a company or teashop fall out of favor with me for carrying, featuring, or specializing in these teas? For Heaven’s sake, no!

A saw blade had evidently sliced the ‘disc’ of tea that was sent to me in the Smoky Exotica package. A band of bamboo still held the tea sample intact. The amount of tea leaves that had been packed (smashed) into the original tube of bamboo must have been enormous. Here is how AveTea.com describes their Smoky Exotica:

“An unforgettable blend of smoky, earthy flavours, this tea is tightly packed into bamboo and smoked for 4 years. The result is a brew that invigorates the senses with just the right touch of smoothness blending with the distinct bass tones that are a throwback to ancient times; finishing off with a light earthy flavour of its native soil. The perfect cup to rejuvenate a zest for life and deep conversations.”

Do have a close look at the photo collage I put together for you:

Image provided and copyright held by author

To be concluded in Smoked Exotica – Part 2